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It’s a huge feeling to be a World champion, says Koneru Humpy

Well played! Newly-crowned World rapid champion Koneru Humpy offers her commiserations to Lei Tingjie after their title-deciding match.

Well played! Newly-crowned World rapid champion Koneru Humpy offers her commiserations to Lei Tingjie after their title-deciding match.  

Koneru Humpy bests Lei Tingjie to claim the women’s rapid crown; Carlsen reigns supreme amongst men

It is a dream come true for Koneru Humpy!

Tipped by Viswanathan Anand more than a decade ago to be a World champion, Humpy became one on Saturday by winning the women’s World rapid chess championship at the Grand Sports Arena of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex in Moscow.

The 32-year-old from Vijayawada, arguably the best-ever women’s chess player from India, emerged triumphant in an intensely contested championship which went to the wire.


Humpy, seeded 13th, claimed the title after drawing the Armageddon game against China’s Lei Tingjie and went home richer by $40,000. The Indian and Chinese had, along with Turkey’s Ekaterina Atalik, finished with nine points from 12 games.

The men’s crown was won by classical World champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway.

Not targeting title

Reflecting on the historic triumph, the first Indian woman to win the World rapid title said she was hoping only for a top-three finish as she was keen to improve her game in the format.


“Frankly, rapid and blitz formats are not my cup of tea. But, I must say that I played some quality chess in crunch games to clinch the title.

“There was no pressure at all but I did have a feeling that it was the best chance for me to have a go. I was tense before the second game in the tie-breaker for there was no plus or minus here. I had to respond quickly but I handled the situation really well,” the champion stated.

The ONGC officer is on a comeback trail after taking a break from competitive chess in 2016 to start a family.

“This win means a lot to me. It is a huge feeling to be a World champion. I have been waiting for this to happen, though not certainly in the rapid format,” said a happy Humpy. “To be a World champion in any format is definitely a dream for any chess player and I am no different. That tag means a lot.”


How significant was this win in the context of her chasing the classical format World championship title?

“In terms of confidence, it takes you to a different level though the format is totally different,” said Humpy, whose previous best in this format was a bronze in the 2012 edition.

“It is a totally different challenge for the classical World title. I will continue to give my best to realise that one big goal,” said the champion, who has been an inspiration for many young girls to take up chess in India.

“Right now, it is time to enjoy this memorable win and I dedicate the win to my parents and husband Anvesh for their wonderful support,” concluded Humpy.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 11:25:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/its-a-huge-feeling-to-be-a-world-champion-says-koneru-humpy/article30427054.ece

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